FIRST Robotics Competition runs annual high school robotics competitions, with the goal of inspiring students to pursue STEM. Around thirty-five fields are built, shipped domestically and internationally, and assembled and disassembled by volunteers for every single event. As one of three mechanical engineers in a multidisplinary team, I designed various mechanical elements of the 2018 field including the platform of the scale and the "poppers". I was also responsible for the visual design of the field and supplementary materials.
Due to timeline and resource limitations, the frame of the platform had to be designed without welded parts, while limiting use of fasteners and avoiding plywood. This created a challenge for such a simple part. In the end, I designed it to be constructed out of various slotted slats that did not require any fasteners and packed efficiently into a shipping case.
One of the early concepts was that the cubes would start on the scale off and "pop" off at the beginning of each game. I worked on the design of the popper and created various prototypes to test using different mechanisms including a motor driven four bar linkage, a counterweight system and pneumatic actuators (we wanted to avoid springs for safety reasons). However, the popper was eliminated from the game since the value added was outweighed by concerns about complexity and cost.
I created all the artwork on the field, as well as some of the supplementary materials used in the various game teasers, trailers, and marketing materials.
I was responsible for most of the assembly instructions for the field. The instruction manual was created using Solidworks Composer.